‘Whenever the Israeli army drafts the reserves — which are made up of ex-soldiers — there are dissenters, resisters, and AWOLers among the troops called to war. Now that Israel has sent troops to Gaza again and reserves are being summoned to service, dozens are refusing to take part.
We are more than 50 Israelis who were once soldiers and now declare our refusal to be part of the reserves. We oppose the Israeli Army and the conscription law. Partly, that’s because we revile the current military operation. But most of the signers below are women and would not have fought in combat. For us, the army is flawed for reasons far broader than “Operation Protective Edge,” or even the occupation.’
‘A Colorado town’s voter-approved ban on fracking in residential areas was shot down on Thursday, after a judge sided with an industry lawsuit claiming only the state government has that kind of authority over oil and gas operations.
Colorado District Court Judge D.D. Mallard agreed with the Colorado Oil & Gas Association’s lawsuit against the town of Longmont, Colorado. That lawsuit argued that if local governments were able to have control over whether fracking occurred in their neighborhoods, it would be unfair to those who already owned oil and gas underneath those towns.’
‘Data published in a new report from the House of Commons in London states the value of all British military exports to Israel currently being processed comes to £7.9 billion ($12.1 billion).
This data was supplied by Vince Cable, Britain’s business secretary, who oversees the weapons trade.
I had to do a double-take when reading this information as until now Britain has indicated that the value of its arms sales to Israel are measured in millions, rather than billions.’
‘We live in a fast-paced, hyper-connected society. While modern technology definitely has its benefits, does being constantly plugged in to technology, and relying on it for almost everything, erode the space for spirituality in our lives? How do we keep spirituality alive in our hyper-connected society?
When was the last time you went a whole day without technology? No smartphone, iPad, laptop, computer, electronic music device, GPS navigation system etc?
Can’t remember? That makes two of us.’
‘Angela Merkel has ordered its intelligence service to spy on the U.S and Britain for the first time since 1945, according to reports.
The move will see Germany’s equivalent of MI5, the BND, monitor British and American spying operations on its soil.
The move is thought to be a response to the discovery earlier this month of two alleged U.S. spies in Germany and revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency was conducting mass surveillance of German citizens and eavesdropping on Merkel’s cellphone.’
‘The vast majority of new broadband customers in the UK are opting out of “child friendly” filters when prompted to install them by service providers.
The industry watchdog Ofcom found fewer than one in seven households installed the feature, which is offered by BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
The filters block pornographic websites, as well as pages promoting self-harm or drug taking.’
‘Yesterday afternoon, I happened to read a seemingly innocuous enough article in Time by Justin Lynch titled: Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State. The article covered the usual bases. Such as the fact the Obama Administration is the least transparent ever, how it has attacked whistleblowers and journalists more than all other Presidents combined, and how citizen journalists pose a threat to the corrupt and dying status quo. All things that we already know.
One of the people quoted in the article is Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, Thom Shanker, who proudly noted “his employer has implemented rigorous standards to balance the security risks of reporting classified information with the public’s right to know.”’
‘The Canada Revenue Agency has told a well-known charity that it can no longer try to prevent poverty around the world, it can only alleviate poverty — because preventing poverty might benefit people who are not already poor.
The bizarre bureaucratic brawl over a mission statement is yet more evidence of deteriorating relations between the Harper government and some parts of Canada’s charitable sector.
The war of words began when Oxfam Canada filed papers with Industry Canada to renew its non-profit status, as required by Oct. 17 this year under a law passed in 2011.’
‘On Dec. 7, 1982, Texas became the first state to authorize lethal injection to kill convicted murderers. In recent years, some states that recognize the death penalty have come under fire.
Lethal injections by drugs come with their own set of problems. Recent controversies in Ohio and Oklahoma show that new multiple-drug methods cause inhumane deaths. There have been reports of delays in finding suitable veins. Needles can become clogged or disengaged, keeping the subject snorting and gasping on their deathbed for over an hour after their scheduled death. New drugs have been shown to cause convulsions in death row inmates, leading authorities to back off the dose. The subjects ultimately go unconscious and die of heart attack later on, which is out of protocol.’
‘The Indian government is facing strong opposition for its decision to allow field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops. The Coalition for a GM-Free India is calling the approvals ‘hasty’ and has asked the Minister for Environment, Forests & Climate Change to cancel them.
Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) is the economic wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – the parent body of the BJP party. It has termed the decision of the Narendra Modi BJP central government as a “betrayal of people’s trust.”’
‘The inquiry will look at “all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Gaza Strip in the context of military operations conducted since mid June,” according to a statement from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The council criticized Israeli military operations for unleashing “widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms.”’
Nearly 700 pages, 355,000 words, 325 illustrations and 32 pages of original colour art by Neil Hague. A Monumental Work What is the ‘Moon Matrix’?
‘For Americans, it was like the news from nowhere. Years had passed since reporters bothered to head for the country we invaded and blew a hole through back in 2003, the country once known as Iraq that our occupation drove into a never-ending sectarian nightmare. In 2011, the last US combat troops slipped out of the country, their heads “held high,” as President Obama proclaimed at the time, and Iraq ceased to be news for Americans.
So the headlines of recent weeks – Iraq army collapses! Iraq’s second largest city falls to insurgents! Terrorist caliphate established in Middle East! – couldn’t have seemed more shockingly out of the blue. Suddenly, reporters flooded back in, the Bush-era neocons who had planned and supported the invasion and occupation were writing op-eds as if it were yesterday, and Iraq was again the story of the moment as the post-post-mortems began to appear and commentators began asking: How in the world could this be happening?’
‘All one can do in the Gaza Strip these days is count how many children have been killed by Israel’s attacks. Four such children — Ismail Bakr, 9, Atef Bakr, 10, Zachariah Bakr, 10, and Mohammed Bakr, 11 — were killed on July 16 as they were playing on the beach. The number of children killed stands, at the time of writing, at 53 from a total number of 237 martyrs and more than 1,700 injured since Israel launched its war on July 8.
Al-Monitor arrived at the scene as soon as the shelling of the beach was heard. We were close to the area where the children were playing and saw the ambulances transporting their bodies, which had been lying on the sand scattered like broken dolls minutes before.
Soon after, international press reporters gathered to take photos and videos. They were nearby as this area of the beach is located in between hotels where hundreds of foreign journalists who have come to cover the war on Gaza are staying and working from.’
”The US government’s restrictions on media with regards to Zionists are encouraging the Israeli regime to accelerate its war crimes against Palestinians, an analyst writes for Press TV.
“Israeli war crimes in Gaza… are enabled by the United States, Israel’s biggest backer on the world stage,” Kevin Barrett wrote in a column for the Press TV website.
He said Americans have no freedom to think and speak freely about Zionism, adding, “Why does the US support Israel? Because Americans have been robbed of the freedom to think and speak freely about Zionism…. If Americans knew the horrors that the Zionists have inflicted… on Palestine… the bloody Zionist experiment would face its final reckoning.”
‘US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans plan to introduce their own legislation that would provide additional funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile system, as the Zionist regime continues to massacre Palestinians in Gaza.
“Republicans are united in support of our ally Israel,” McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said on the Senate floor Thursday. “We can help Israel defend its civilian population against indiscriminate attacks.”
On Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a letter to congressional leadership requesting $225 million in additional US funding for the Iron Dome missile system.’
‘Taliban’s leader in Afghanistan has warned against the presence of US-led troops in the country after 2014, saying it means more fighting.
“We believe the war in Afghanistan will come to an end when all foreign invaders pull out of Afghanistan,” Mullah Mohammad Omar said in an online message on Friday.
He also warned to the next Afghan president about signing a security deal with the United States and said that limited presence of US troops, under whatever title, will mean continuation of occupation and the war.’
‘Food crisis in South Sudan is the worst in the world, with the country on the threshold of a total famine if fighting continues, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) says.
In a press statement released on Friday, the Security Council “expressed grave concern about the catastrophic food insecurity situation in South Sudan.”
The 15-member council also urged the countries that promised at a May conference to provide the African country with $618 million in aid to “swiftly fulfill those pledges and to increase their commitments.”’